I cheered Susan on as she pedaled her recumbent slow and steady down A1A. I met Susan earlier in the week at Bike Florida’s Gullah Geechee Tour. She began cycling at age 50 and became an avid cyclist completing numerous bike tours and riding a century (100-mile ride) every year. Pretty awesome for a 75-year-old active senior.
This past week I was reunited with Susan at Bike Florida’s Sand and Stars Tour. She was in good company with 64 being the average age of cyclists on the tour. Active seniors in the 70s and 80s are common on cycling tours. I hope to find myself cycling bike tours when I am well into my 70s and 80s.
I am still exploring what it means to be retired. I enjoy my chats with these “golden” cyclists. Their retirement experiences echo a good bit of what I believe is important in living a happy healthy retired life. At the same time, I always learn something new from these folks.
What are the common things I have found in my chats? They have a passion for cycling and staying healthy. They have a community of cyclists that they connect with on these rides. They enjoy the gift of retired life and live at a slower pace that most non-retired people dream of for years. These are some very good things indeed.
One of the most pleasant days of the past week was cycling along the coast to the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse. I found myself engaged in a chat in the shade of the lighthouse with Frank, a retired local guy. He cycles the route I was on 3-4 times a week.
Our chat naturally turned to cycling and retirement. Frank summed things up nicely. “Life is good when you can ride your bike, enjoy nature, and be happy.” Those words stayed with me as I cycled back up the coast. Life was certainly good on that day and during that week. Add another bit of wisdom to my retirement owner’s manual.
“Yes! Live! Life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!”